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Benzoin gum – Natural flavor fixative in high-end products

25/01/2024 vipsen

1. Bodhi Tree.

1.1 Overview of Bodhi tree

The Bodhi tree, whose English name is Styrax Tonkinensis, also has another English name, Pagoda Tree (for ancient Bodhi trees), is a tree associated with temples and sacred places. The Bodhi tree is not only a precious medicine that cures many human diseases, but it also has great spiritual significance in people’s spiritual life. In particular, for monks, the Bodhi tree is seen as solidity in the existence of Buddhism.

The Bodhi tree that is grown for short periods of time for exploitation is the tree that produces Benzoin gum, a raw material widely used in the world to produce perfumes and flavorings.

The Bodhi tree, whose English name is Styrax Tonkinensis, also has another English name, Pagoda Tree (for ancient Bodhi trees), is a tree associated with temples and sacred places. The Bodhi tree is not only a precious medicine that cures many human diseases, but it also has great spiritual significance in people’s spiritual life. In particular, for monks, the Bodhi tree is seen as solidity in the existence of Buddhism.

The Bodhi tree that is grown for short periods of time for exploitation is the tree that produces Benzoin gum, a raw material widely used in the world to produce perfumes and flavorings.

1.2 Bodhi tree growing areas in Vietnam

There is no specific figure for the total area of Bodhi trees planted in Vietnam. However, there are about 22,000 hectares of Bodhi trees grown in the Northwest region of Vietnam, Lao Cai alone has more than 6,600 hectares. Bodhi trees are grown in some mountainous and midland areas of Vietnam. Including localities such as Lao Cai, Son La, Lai Chau, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa… In many places, ginger and turmeric are also grown alternately under the canopy of Bodhi trees to create short-term income for people.

Bodhi trees are planted interspersed with other tree species in a forest in Lao Cai, Vietnam

                              

1.3 Uses of Bodhi tree

Benzoin gum has an attractive scent and is used as an ingredient in high-end perfumes. In many regions in Vietnam, income from Benzoin gum is much higher than income from wood and not only that, exploitation and production activities are environmentally friendly.

Bodhi wood is classified as miscellaneous wood, not of high value. The wood is light, soft, has a density of 410-450 kg/m3 (at 15% humidity) and is not suitable for construction.

In Vietnam, Bodhi wood is an important source of wood fiber for pulp and paper mills. Wood gives very high yield and quality of pulp, comparable to many commercial pulpwoods. It is also used to make wooden shoes, pencils, chopsticks, toothpicks and matches.

2. Vietnam Benzoin gum

2.1 Overview of Vietnam Benzoin gum

Vietnam benzoin gum (also known as Nhua Canh Kien Trang, An Tien Huong, Benzoin Siam) is secreted from the tree trunk and allowed to dry naturally. After hardening, the resin becomes separate lumps, white, light yellow or light red, opaque, and easy to break. The crack looks waxy, pale white in color, turns brown after a long time, and gives off a special scent, similar to the taste of vanilla. The resin is almost insoluble in water, partially soluble in ether, and completely soluble in alcohol.

Vietnam Benzoin gum after processing

                                                                            

2.2 How to exploit Vietnam benzoin gum

From April to July of the lunar calendar is a favorable time for people to cut tree bark and create wounds. After 15 days, the first drop of resin appears, and so on until December, then the harvest occurs. If exploited properly, a Bodhi tree can yield about 500-700 grams of resin/year, 1 hectare of Bodhi tree can yield about 300kg of Benzoin gum. Bodhi trees can harvest resin at the age of 5-10 years old, and the tree’s height reaches over 20m.

To extract Benzoin resin, instead of cutting down the whole tree, people will cut a small space on the trunk, each 1 meter apart to get the resin. Bodhi resin is colloidal, white, yellow and light brown. After 4-5 months, the sap will dry and harden, be processed and supplied to the market. Benzoin resin is usually most abundant and of the best quality near the top of the tree. Therefore, mining is quite dangerous. Workers must prepare enough safety tools.

Preparing for Benzoin resin extraction, protective tools should be carefully checked

                                              

The worker makes cuts in the tree

                                                             

A cut is made

                                                                                     

2.3 Chemical composition of linden resin

The Benzoin resin is known commercially as ‘Siam benzoin’. The chemical composition includes more than 50 compounds, the most prominent of which are: Free benzonic acid 26.13%, free cinnamic acid 2.75%, Vaniline 1.38%, Benzyl benzoate 4.24%, Cinnamyl cinnamate 1.81%, Benzyl cinnamate 1.23%.

Benzoin gums are harvested before preliminary processing

                                                                    

2.4 Uses of Benzoin gum

Benzoin Gum or resin: The resin obtained from the tree trunk is of high quality and suitable for use in the perfume industry. Absolute benzoin gum is a thick, yellow-brown oil with a sweet balsamic scent and a hint of vanilla. Benzoin gum used in perfumery is then incorporated and used in a variety of final products including personal health care products such as toilet soaps, shampoos, body lotions and creams, bath oils, aerosols and talcum powders, household items and other products such as liquid soaps, air fresheners, fabric softeners, detergents and other cleaning agents.

Foods: Benzoin’s main role in foods is as a flavoring agent in chocolate bars, ice cream, dairy products, syrups and other foods.

Medicine: benzoin gum is used in modern pharmaceuticals as a vapor inhaler to relieve coughs, laryngitis, bronchitis and upper respiratory tract disorders or as a mild antiseptic. Additionally, benzoin extract is used in Purol, a famous antibacterial powder used to refresh and soothe dry skin as well as improve skin allergies. It is used in traditional medicine in Vietnam, helping to treat rheumatism, coughs, colds, stomachaches and heartburn: it has also been used in the treatment of dizziness, vertigo, convulsions and diabetes. The combination of roses and benzoin brings a pleasant, gentle feeling with a pleasant, warm fragrance.

Benzoin gum is packed after processing for export

                                                                          

Benzoin gum Benzoin gum is prepared with Propylene Glycol                                                                          

 3. Benzoin gum at VIPSEN factory

VIPSEN is one of the leading researchers and producers of natural essential oils in Vietnam. Essential oil products are produced using advanced methods, achieving high quality with 100% natural ingredients, without additives or mixtures. Benzoin gum products are produced by VIPSEN from the famous Bodhi tree growing and exploiting area in Vietnam. The production process from planting and harvesting raw materials to producing and preserving finished products is always closely monitored by a team of experienced experts and technicians. VIPSEN’s Benzoin gum products are not only popular in Vietnam but also around the world.

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